Country's changing demographics should be celebrated

2012-05-25T05:00:00Z Country's changing demographics should be celebratedBRIAN GILMORE McClatchy-Tribune News Arizona Daily Sun

As Americans, we should embrace the increasing diversity of our country.

The Census Bureau recently reported that minority births made up a majority of births in the United States in the year that ended July 2011. The report noted that 50.5 percent of the births were Asian, Latino, black or mixed race. This percentage has been on the rise for years as the nation's white population ages and the minority population gets younger and younger. Right now there are more than 300 million people in United States, and 114 million of us are minority or persons of color.

Of the individual states, Hawaii, California, New Mexico and Texas already have majority-minority populations. The District of Columbia is majority-minority as well.

The majority-minority birth numbers should come as no surprise.

Demographers have been predicting for years now that by 2040, people of color would comprise a majority in the United States. Some studies place it a little later at 2050, but still, the "browning of America," as many call it, is coming. Amid all of this change, there is unfounded fear and outright hatred.

According to the Southern Poverty Law Center, hate groups are on the rise. The number, in total, is currently more than 1,000, and many of them are organized around resistance to these demographic changes.

In addition, anti-immigration laws have been passed in many states across the nation. Alabama, Arizona, Mississippi and South Carolina have all passed laws that are anti-immigrant in nature.

This is no way to respond to the changing face of America. Except descendants of Native Americans and slaves, everyone's relatives came here as immigrants. We should resist the temptation to pass laws that will restrict new Americans as the country once did in the early 20th century when Jews, Poles, Greeks and Italians arrived in large numbers.

Instead, we should pass comprehensive immigration reform to offer a path to citizenship to all those who have been leading productive lives here for many years. We should also address the problem of economic equality along racial lines. Failure to address this issue as the nation grows more diverse could prove to be catastrophic. Not only will it breed division and contempt, but a majority will also be unable to live a constructive existence.

In 2010, median black and Latino families earned a paltry 57 cents for each dollar earned by median white families, according to a study by United for a Fair Economy. White families, on average, also possess far more wealth than black and Latino families.

We can't have a smoothly functioning society with such economic disparities. We need to equalize educational opportunities and open the doors for all.

The United States is what the Rev. Jesse Jackson once described: "a quilt of many patches, many pieces, many colors, many sizes, all woven and held together by a common thread."

We should strengthen that thread and admire the power of our many colors woven together.

Brian Gilmore is a writer for Progressive Media Project, a source of liberal commentary on domestic and international issues; it is affiliated with The Progressive magazine. Readers may write to the author at: Progressive Media Project, 409 East Main Street, Madison, Wis. 53703; email: pmproj@progressive.org; Web site: www.progressive.org. For information on PMP's funding, please visit http://www.progressive.org/pmpabout.html#anchorsupport.

Copyright 2015 Arizona Daily Sun. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

(10) Comments

  1. longtimer
    Report Abuse
    longtimer - May 31, 2012 12:13 pm
    I suppose it is irrelevant to point out that here in the Southwest, it is the white-European who is the newcomer. Obviously Native Americans have been here for thousands of years, while Latin and Hispanic roots go back more than 400 years-witness the city of Albuquerque celebrating 400 years this Summer.
    Meanwhile, the U.S. has always been about diversity, and the most recent immigrants were often the most dislikes-remember "No Irish need apply". We'll all get over it and be fine.
  2. spiritflows
    Report Abuse
    spiritflows - May 29, 2012 11:40 am
    JamesOD said: "Why should we "celebrate" this "diversity"?Where on earth had "diversity" led to a more peaceful society? Yugloslavia? Rwanda?"

    We should celebrate diversity 'cause the UN says so! UN needs to fragment culture and societies to make people weak and unorganized units, so they really like diversity!!!!! UN needs to make citizens busy and distracted, much easier to take them over if they are not working together.
  3. American Way
    Report Abuse
    American Way - May 27, 2012 10:37 pm
    The laws being passed in Arizona and other states are not anti-immigrant, the are anti-illegal immigration. But the left refuses to make that distinction.
  4. American Way
    Report Abuse
    American Way - May 27, 2012 10:28 pm
    Diversity is overblown. Just ask Sweden, France, the UK, and any other country with riots because of 3rd worlders immigration to their countries and refusing to assimilate. There is something to be said for cultural homogeneity.It works and always has.
  5. JamesOD
    Report Abuse
    JamesOD - May 26, 2012 10:33 pm
    Why should we "celebrate" this "diversity"?

    Where on earth had "diversity" led to a more peaceful society? Yugloslavia? Rwanda?

  6. Opinionator
    Report Abuse
    Opinionator - May 26, 2012 7:15 am
    @rezzdog: I lived most of my life on the edge of a black majority city. Going to school and work with people who are aggressively hostile toward me (and all whites) regarding a historical event that I had no part in (U.S. slavery), is unpleasant. I don't like being called "honkey" or "cracker" or threatened and intimidated daily. I found that my quality of life improved when I removed myself from the "culturally diverse" environment.
  7. Steven E
    Report Abuse
    Steven E - May 26, 2012 7:04 am
    I can hardly wait for our country to look and act like Mexico! It's what our founding fathers wanted.
  8. rezzdog
    Report Abuse
    rezzdog - May 25, 2012 12:09 pm
    Opinionator: What problem exactly do you have with the fact that human skins are getting darker in this country? I'm listening and VERY interested in what you have to say.
  9. Flaglifer
    Report Abuse
    Flaglifer - May 25, 2012 10:52 am
    So how can a majority of one or another race be considered a minority? Sounds like a contradiction to me.
  10. Opinionator
    Report Abuse
    Opinionator - May 25, 2012 7:51 am
    Whites are less than 10% of the world's population and are soon to become a minority in the US and the author of the article says we should celebrate? I'm going to have to respectfully decline my invitation to that party.
Add Comment
You must Login to comment.

Click here to get an account it's free and quick

Featured Businesses